17 days to go: Mat Ryan’s FIFA World Cup story

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is almost here and ahead of the tournament, we are profiling every Australian player who has been to a FIFA World Cup.

Today it’s the turn of current squad member and a man who played at the 2014 tournament in Brazil, Australian goalkeeping star Mat Ryan.

READFIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 555

World Cups played at: 2014

Position: Goalkeeper

Age at World Cup: 22 (now aged 26)

Clubs played for:

Blacktown City, Central Coast Mariners, Club Brugge, Valencia, KRC Genk, Brighton and Hove Albion

Mat Ryan makes a save against Spain at the 2014 World Cup.
Mat Ryan makes a save against Spain at the 2014 World Cup.

Best World Cup moment:

Trusted as Ange Postecoglou’s number one in Brazil, Ryan started all three games of the 2014 tournament.

While the Caltex Socceroos lost all three matches and conceded nine goals, Ryan produced some phenomenal stops right throughout that World Cup, especially in the opening game against Chile.

Ryan has since declared he views the 2018 World Cup as an opportunity to earn redemption after a nervy debut on football's biggest stage.

Career highlight:

Ryan has enjoyed plenty of success throughout his young career, which started as a teenager in the Hyundai A-League with the Mariners.

He was twice named the NAB Young Footballer of the Year (2010/11 and 2011/12), while he was Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2011/12 and won the Joe Marston Medal for player of the Grand Final in Central Coast's loss to Brisbane Roar in 2011.

After winning the Grand Final with the Mariners in 2012/13, Ryan continued to have success when he moved abroad to Belgium’s Club Brugge.

Ryan was twice voted the Belgium Pro League’s best keeper (2013/14 and 2014/15), while he helped the club lift the Belgian Cup in 2015.

For the Caltex Socceroos, his finest moment to date was when Australia won the AFC Asian Cup on home soil in 2015, with Ryan playing all six matches at the tournament.

Mat Ryan Mariners
Mat Ryan celebrates the 2013 Hyundai A-League Grand Final win with the Mariners.

Post-playing career:

Ryan is in the peak of his career right now, coming off a superb debut season in the Premier League with the Seagulls.

Did you know?

Before Ryan joined the Mariners and began his journey to becoming a Caltex Socceroos star, he was almost released by Blacktown City as a youngster and had a job at KFC.